Local start-ups stand out with unique solutions that are committed to address the city's environmental challenges
New World Development Co., Ltd. ('New World Development' or 'the Group') is pleased to announce that Impact Kommons, Asia's first accelerator based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), is welcoming another 15 start-ups into the program and granting them access to community events, mentorship and B2B collaboration opportunities, where participants can learn from prominent industry leaders throughout the region and gain exposure through the program's extensive network. Over 60% of the start-ups in the second cohort are from Hong Kong, reflecting the strong opportunities and potential for home grown sustainable technologies and solutions. In fact, there are technologies and solutions from start-ups in the program that can be immediately implemented for anti-epidemic measures and some have already been used by properties of the group.
Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: 'We are committed to recruiting young entrepreneurs with innovative technologies and a sustainable development mindset through Impact Kommons, which embodies New World Group's 'Creating Shared Value' (CSV) and works hand in hand with these start-ups in transforming their creativity into a driving force that truly benefits and propels society. The solutions and technologies selected this year will not only promote the sustainable development of Hong Kong, but also help society and the business community in adapting to the 'new normal' after the pandemic. We sincerely look forward to cultivating these solutions from the collaboration between the group and our impact-driven start-ups.'
Founded by New World Development, Impact Kommons received applications from 30 countries and regions for the second cohort of the program. Among the 15 admitted start-ups that stood out from their peers with their unique products and solutions, nine are home grown companies in Hong Kong, while the remaining start-ups come from countries including Israel, Malaysia and Belgium.
Many solutions from the selected local start-ups this year can help solve the unique environmental problems in Hong Kong. The 'Monitoring of Solid Waste Report' launched by the Environmental Protection Department in 2018 stated that about 341 tons of garden waste are disposed of at landfills daily. HM Environmental Technologies, one of the selected start-ups, recycles wood waste and uses them to launch systematic hoardings and multi-purpose wood boards, bringing a second life to these waste products. Another selected startup, V Cycle, is committed to improve the living standard of local waste collectors by employing them to collect plastic bottles and upgrading the bottles into eco-friendly bags.
Other than that, the technologies from some selected start-ups can be widely used in response to the current pandemic. Rice Robotics developed a robot that can deliver food, documents and products with a focus on the catering, hospitality, office and retail space sectors. The use of the robot can therefore reduce human contact under the pandemic and Rice Robotics' technology is already in use at the K11 ATELIER office complex under K11.
Ben Wong, Head of Open Innovation at New World Development, said, 'The pandemic this year has slowed down the pace of many accelerators in the market, but it also drove more conversation and focus on the importance of merging technologies and sustainable development. Through Impact Kommons, we found that start-ups and larger organizations are more eager than ever to solve the problems of sustainability. This led us to carry out this program in an online-first format under the pandemic, which enables more flexibility and speed to land measurable pilots between the group and the start-ups.'
New World Development established its 'Sustainability Vision 2030' based on its business priorities and four relevant UNSDGs out of a total of 17. In this regard, Impact Kommons, companies under the Group and its business partners have identified seven problem statements related to sustainable development. Start-ups participating in the second round of the project will aim to address these seven problem statements covering waste management, upcycling, construction, elderly care, energy management and more, ensuring the solutions broadly align to the direction of the UNSDGs.
Selected startups will receive mentorship, strategic developmental support as well as professional referrals for future business opportunities in order to help them better align and execute their businesses with the UNSDGs. Through Impact Kommons, the Group is able to guide participating start-ups and help them expand the scale of their business operations while adopting relevant innovative sustainable development strategies, in turn improving and bettering their existing solutions and technologies. All chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to develop a 'Proof of Concept' for their respective technologies and solutions. Additionally, working with the Group's various business units and external partners will help facilitate the start-ups' commercialization process and quantify their sustainable development impact. Furthermore, participating start-ups are able to increase brand awareness and name recognition by joining the extensive network of community events and mentorship programs provided through the Impact Kommons program.
Fifteen start-ups will partake in a 'Demo Day' in March 2021 where each participating company will present their innovative sustainable development solutions to the Group's business units and partners.
Impact Kommons is powered by Eureka Nova Lab, the open innovation arm of NWD. With the mission of empowering tech startups to solve real business problems, Eureka Nova's platform has a proven track record of bridging startup innovation with NWD's business units and partners.
DBS Bank is Impact Kommon's Social Impact Partner and the program's sponsor, together with Amazon Web Services, promoting social innovation and sustainable development projects for greater benefits for societal development.
For more information, please visit Impact Kommons' official website: https://www.impactkommons.com